Lisa Terwilliger

Lisa TerwilligerA small-town girl from Maine, Lisa Terwilliger fell in love with Beaufort the first time her husband, Daniel, was stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in the early 1980s. When he was sent back in ‘87 to serve as a drill instructor, she planted roots. 

She started taking classes at the local community college, gave birth to a baby girl, and landed a job as a PRN orthopaedics unit secretary at Beaufort Memorial. 

“I was always interested in going to nursing school, but I just hadn’t had the opportunity,” she said. “Working in the hospital fueled me to enroll in the nursing program.”  

Lisa needed to work, but her hours had to be flexible to accommodate her school schedule.  Her supervisors were happy to help. When she decided to go back to school years later to earn her B.S.N., hospital administrators were just as accommodating.

“They did some creative scheduling so I could work around my classes,” said Terwilliger, who went on to become a charge nurse and was later promoted to assistant department director. “Now nurses are coming to me to get help with their schedules. We do everything we can to support them in continuing their education.”

With her husband deployed overseas the last eight years of his military career, Beaufort Memorial became a stabilizing force in her life. Rather than move to North Carolina where he was stationed, Lisa decided to stay in Beaufort with her daughter, Danielle, now 22. 

“I couldn’t leave,” the 54-year-old RN said. “I love my job and the employees I work with. In this unit, we’re like one big family. Everybody takes care of each other. It’s the hospital and the people that kept me here.”

Her husband, now retired, continues to serve as a civilian contractor overseas. For the 11 months of the year he’s away, Lisa enjoys getting together with friends, working in the yard, and lending a hand with her daughter and son-in-law’s new-home-improvement projects.  

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